Arthur Miller’s THE CRUCIBLE
Dr Barbara Basel
A presentation at a workshop for teachers in May 2012
I’ve decided to focus on three aspects of this play:
- Why did Miller write The Crucible – the circumstances and reasons?
- Three of the main themes in The Crucible.
- Three of the main characters in The Crucible
I will provide some theoretical background first and then suggest some ways in which students could be assisted towards a deeper understanding of these aspects of the play
THE REASONS MILLER WROTE THE PLAY
LIFE IN POST WORLD WAR II AMERICA
Miller’s The Crucible, was written in 1953 to expose the horrors of ‘McCarthyism’. It is a play that deftly examines ‘the work of the individual conscience when pitted against the uniform thinking of the mob’ (New Yorker).
According to Miller, ‘the prime business of a play is to arouse the passions of its audience. However, drama is akin to the other inventions of man in that it ought to help us know more, and not merely evoke our feelings.’ (‘Introduction to Miller’s Collected Plays’.)
As a result of heightened fears of the communist influence on American institutions and espionage by Soviet agents during the 1940s and 1950s, Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy and his supporters used charges of communist sympathies or disloyalty to attack a number of politicians and other individuals inside and outside of government. Suspects had to defend themselves before the House of Un-American Activities Commission and the identities of their accusers and even the nature of many of the accusations were typically kept secret from the accused. The term ‘McCarthyism’ was subsequently used to describe the making of accusations of disloyalty, subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. (A practice that mirrors the treatment of the accused in the Salem witch trials of 1692.)
Elmer Davis, a highly respected news reporter, warned that ‘McCarthyism’ constitutes a ‘general attack not only on teachers, textbooks, schools, colleges and libraries, but on the freedom of the minds’ of all Americans. Justice William O. Douglas stated that McCarthy’s purge was ‘based on a principle repugnant to our society, namely guilt by association, which is typical of what happens in a police state’.
Such were the conditions in American when Miller wrote The Crucible, a play which uses the 1692 Salem witch trials as a metaphor for ‘McCarthyism’, thus suggesting that ‘McCarthyism-style’ persecution can occur at any time or place. The play focuses on the fact that, once accused, a person would have little chance of acquittal, given the irrational and circular reasoning of both the courts and the public. One of the aspects that prompted Miller to write The Crucible; was exploring ‘the tragedy of people who, under social pressure, lose their integrity’. The Crucible explores this theme in the context of the Salem witch trials. Many citizens of Salem lost their sense of decency and community when they went along with the crowd to continue the persecution of the innocent. Miller stated later that: ‘The more I read into the Salem panic, the more it touched off corresponding images of common experiences in America in the 1950s’.
Miller’s The Crucible depicts trial scenes in which children accuse adults of evil abuse in a fury of fanaticism and paranoia. Similar scenes are replayed in historic documentaries about Chairman Mao’s cultural revolution in the People’s Republic of China. In more recent years in Africa, a similar form of mass hysteria fired the 1994 Rwandan Genocide in which over 800,000 people died because, according to the Hutu Power group, ‘the Tutsi intended to enslave the Hutu’. This genocide was supported by the national government, local military and civil officials and the mass media.
Miller spent hours studying the testimonies of the participants in the Salem trial. He was particularly interested in the testimony against a farmer named John Proctor who was executed for conspiring with the Devil. Miller discovered a connection between Abigail Williams and the Rev. Parrish and that both were somehow linked to John and Elizabeth Proctor. There were sexual innuendos throughout the transcript. So Miller introduced the fictionalized adulterous relationship between Proctor and the young Abigail in order to create the necessary dramatic energy and provide the reason for Abigail to accuse Elizabeth of witchcraft. Miller became attached to his characters and to the real people they represented. He marvelled at Rebecca Nurse, Giles Corey and John Proctor who ‘could have such a belief in the rightness of their consciences as to give up their lives rather that say what they thought was false’.
LIFE IN THE AMERICAN COLONIES AT THE END OF THE 1600s
In 1689, the Puritans of Salem Village were finally allowed to form their own covenanted church congregation and ordain their own minister. Salem Village was torn by internal disputes between neighbours who disagreed about the choice of Samuel Parris as their first ordained minister, and about the choice to grant him the deed to the parsonage as part of his compensation. (In The Crucible the Rev. Parris frequently alludes to the fact that it has taken him ‘2 long years to gain the support of the community’, while John Proctor challenges Parris over his request for the deeds of the parsonage.)
Religious and political context
The Puritans were a political and religious party which began in the mid-16th century in England. The party opposed the doctrine of the Catholic Church and accused the new Protestant Church of England of continuing to follow Catholic traditions. Tension between Catholics and Protestants continued throughout the 1600s until England erupted into civil war, and the leaders of the Puritan Party executed King Charles I and made their leader, Oliver Cromwell, ‘Lord Protector’ of England in 1653. This success was short-lived and the resultant emigration of Puritans to Massachusetts in the US produced a population of fervently religious and politically astute settlers.
The Puritan community was a patriarchal society. They believed women should be subservient to men, and that women were more likely to enlist in the Devil’s service because women were lustful by nature. The ‘small-town atmosphere’ made secrets difficult to keep, and people’s opinions about their neighbours were generally accepted as fact. Children were at the bottom of the social ladder and girls were trained from a young age to perform household duties, serve their husbands and bear their children.(In The Crucible, Abigale Williams and her friends, Mary Warren and Mercy Lewis, all worked as ‘servants’ in the homes of Salem villagers.)
In accordance with Puritan beliefs, the majority of accused ‘witches’ were unmarried or recently widowed land-owning women. According to the law if no legal heir existed upon the owner’s death, title to the land reverted to the previous owner, or to the colony, thus making witch-hunting a means of acquiring a profitable piece of property.(Giles Corey accuses Thomas Putman of persuading his daughter to ‘call out’ for a witch so that he could purchase her property.)
Increasing family size fuelled disputes over land between neighbours and within families, (such as those between Thomas Putnam and Giles Corey). Such quarrels were further enhanced by the religious fervour of the Puritans (Proctor was condemned for ploughing on Sunday). Consequently, loss of crops, livestock, and children, as well as earthquakes and bad weather, were attributed to the wrath of God. (Ironically, the death of Ruth Putman’s eight children is said to be the work of the devil.)
The Witch Trials and McCarthyism
The Crucible can be seen as symbolic of the paranoia about commof Un-American Activities Committee’s rooting out of suspected communists during this time and the seventeenth-century witch-hunt that Miller depicts in The Crucible, including the narrow-mindedness, excessive zeal, and disregard for the individuals that characterise the government’s effort to stamp out a perceived social ill.
Just as had happened with the alleged witches of Salem, suspected Communists during McCarthy’s ‘reign of terror’ were encouraged to confess their crimes and to ‘name names,’ identifying others sympathetic to their radical cause. Miller’s main concern in The Crucible is not whether the accused are actually witches, but rather with the unwillingness of the court officials to believe that they are not. This was a matter of concern in Miller’s own time due to the fact that the excesses of McCarthyism had wronged many innocents.
In order to assist learners to better understand the context in which The Crucible was written ask them to identify and research the following issues:
- Countries, societies and religious communities in which the freedom of ordinary people is curtailed by those in power – namely by political and religious leaders. Try to get learners to identify both past and present societies which exhibit repressive power structures, (eg Germany, Communist countries, South Africa).
- Countries and societies in which the repressive power structures have enabled the leaders to become wealthy at the expense of the poor, (eg Liberia, Zimbabwe, Eqypt).
- Countries and societies in which religious, ethnic and/or political fervour has lead to loss of life, (eg Afganistan, Sudan, Baltic States, Croatia, Rumania, etc).
2. THREE OF THE MAIN THEMES IN THE CRUCIBLE
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. I will discuss three themes although there are others.
The Crucible is set in a theocratic society, in which the church and the state are one, and the form of religion is Puritanism, a very strict and ridged form of Protestantism.
- In a theocratic society moral laws and state laws are fused, thus the whole community is concerned with the status of an individual’s soul.
- Everyone must conform to established moral and social norms: thus any individual whose private life does not conform to the society’s norms represents a threat to both the public good and to the rule of God.
- In Salem, everyone belongs to either God or the devil; dissent is both unlawful and associated with satanic activity. As Danforth says in Act III, ‘a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it.’
- The witch trials are an expression of intolerance, hanging witches is the means of restoring the community’s purity; the trials brand all social deviants as devil-worshippers and necessitate their expulsion from the community.
The Crucible highlights the role hysteria plays in tearing apart a community. Hysteria thrives when people benefit from it. It suspends the norms of daily life and allows the manifestation of dark desires under the cover of righteousness. In The Crucible:
- Hysteria supplants logic and enables people to believe that their supposedly moral neighbours, are committing unbelievable crimes such as working with the devil or killing babies.
- The townsfolk become active in the hysterical climate for religious reasons and because it gives them a chance to express repressed sentiments and to act on long-held grudges. For example:
– Abigail uses the situation to accuse Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft in the hope that she can marry John Proctor.
– Reverend Parris strengthens his position within the village by making a scapegoat of Proctor who questions his authority.
– The wealthy, ambitious Thomas Putnam revenges Francis Nurse by getting Nurse’s virtuous wife Rebecca convicted of the ‘supernatural murders’ of Ann Putnam’s babies.
In The Crucible the witch trials empower several marginalized members of Salem society. In general, women occupy the lowest rung of male-dominated Salem and have few options in life. They work as servants for townsmen until they are old enough to be married off and have children of their own. In addition to being thus restricted, Abigail is also slave to John Proctor’s sexual whims—he strips away her innocence when he commits adultery with her, and he arouses her spiteful jealousy when he terminates their affair.
Because the Puritans’ greatest fear is the defiance of God, Abigail’s accusations of witchcraft and devil-worship immediately command the attention of the court. By pretending to align herself with God’s will, she gains power over society, together with the other girls in her pack, and their words become virtually unassailable. Tituba (Parris’s Barbados slave), who has the lowest status in the play because she is black, deflects blame from herself by accusing others.
In order to assist learners to better understand the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in The Crucible ask them to identify and research the following issues:
Societies and religious communities in which intolerance of other people’s ideas is common practice by both leaders and ordinary citizens. Ask learners to think about intolerance in their own communities, schools and extended families, (eg xenophobia in South Africa, intolerance towards people who are HIV/AIDS positive). Ask learners to think of the results of such intolerance and to suggest ways in which it could be overcome.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines hysteria as ‘wild, uncontrollable excitement, volatile emotions and overdramatic behaviour with physical symptoms such as unconsciousness and convulsions that cannot be attributed to physical pathology’. Ask learners if they can identify situations in which logic has been supplanted by volatile emotions and overdramatic behaviour, for example when seemingly peaceful demonstrations by community members or street vendors turn into volatile situations in which people are injured and property is damaged. How could such situations have been avoided?
The empowerment of previously marginalised people is usually regarded as a positive action. However, while The Crucible shows how the women of Salem used their empowerment positively, it also reveals the way in which it impacted negatively on society. Ask learners to think about ways in which many women in today’s society have overcome their submissive position and then get them to discuss both the positive and negative results of this empowerment.
3. THREE OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS IN THE CRUCIBLE
The Crucible’s structure is similar to a classical tragedy, with John Proctor as the play’s tragic hero. Honest, upright, and blunt-spoken, Proctor is a good man, but one with a secret, fatal flaw. His lust for Abigail Williams led to their affair (which occurs before the play begins), and created Abigail’s jealousy of his wife, Elizabeth, which sets the entire witch hysteria in motion.
Once the trials begin, Proctor realizes that he can stop Abigail’s rampage through Salem if he confesses his adultery. Such an admission would ruin his good name, and Proctor is, above all, a proud man who places great emphasis on his reputation. He makes an attempt, through Mary Warren’s testimony, to name Abigail as a fraud without revealing the crucial information. When this fails, he bursts out with a confession, calling Abigail a ‘whore’ and proclaiming his guilt publicly. Only then does he realize that it is too late, that matters have gone too far, and that not even the truth can break the powerful frenzy that he has allowed Abigail to whip up. Proctor’s confession succeeds only in leading to his arrest and conviction as a witch, and though he verbally attacks the court and its proceedings, he is also aware of his terrible role in allowing this fervor to grow unchecked.
Proctor redeems himself and provides a final denunciation of the witch trials in his final act. Offered the opportunity to make a public confession of his guilt and live, he goes as far as signing a ‘confession’. While initially, his immense pride and fear of public opinion compelled him to withhold his adultery from the court, by the end of the play he is more concerned with his personal integrity than his public reputation. He still wants to save his name, but for personal and religious reasons. Proctor’s refusal to provide a false confession is a true religious and personal stand. Such a confession would dishonour his fellow prisoners, who are brave enough to die as testimony to the truth. Perhaps more relevantly, a false admission would also dishonour him, staining not just his public reputation, but also his soul. By refusing to give up his personal integrity Proctor goes to the gallows redeemed for his earlier sins. As Elizabeth says to end the play, responding to Hale’s plea that she convince Proctor to publicly confess: ‘He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!’
Abigail is a very beautiful seventeen-year-old girl and one of the major characters in the play. Abigail is the least complex character in the play and her rather static nature does not change through the play. However, Abigail is clearly the villain of the play; she tells lies, manipulates her friends and the entire town, and eventually sends nineteen innocent people to their deaths. Throughout the hysteria, Abigail’s motivations never seem more complex than simple jealousy and a desire to have revenge on Elizabeth Proctor. Abigail is driven only by sexual desire and a lust for power. Nevertheless, it is worth pointing out a few background details that, though they don’t mitigate Abigail’s guilt, make her actions more understandable.
Abigail is an orphan and an unmarried girl, whose only relative, Rev. Parris, begrudgingly gives her a home. She thus occupies a low rung on the Puritan Salem social ladder (the only people below her are the slaves, like Tituba, and social outcasts). For young girls in Salem, the minister and the other male adults are God’s earthly representatives, their authority derived from on high. The trials, then, in which the girls are allowed to act as though they have a direct connection to God, empower the previously powerless Abigail. Once shunned and scorned by the respectable townsfolk who had heard rumours of her affair with John Proctor, Abigail now finds that she has clout, and she takes full advantage of it. A mere accusation from one of Abigail’s troop is enough to incarcerate and convict even the most well-respected inhabitant of Salem. Whereas others once reproached her for her adultery, she now has the opportunity to accuse them of the worst sin of all: devil-worship.
John Hale, the intellectual, naïve witch-hunter, enters the play in Act I when Parris summons him to examine his daughter, Betty. Miller describes Hale as ‘a tight-skinned, eager-eyed intellectual. This is a beloved errand for him; on being called here to ascertain witchcraft he has felt the pride of the specialist whose unique knowledge has at last been publicly called for.’ Hale enters in a flurry of activity, carrying large books and projecting an air of great knowledge. Initially Hale is the force behind the witch trials, probing for confessions and encouraging people to testify. Over the course of the play, however, he experiences a transformation, one more remarkable than that of any other character. Listening to John Proctor and Mary Warren, he becomes convinced that they, not Abigail, are telling the truth. In the climactic scene in the court in Act III, he joins those who are opposing the witch trials. In tragic fashion, his about-face comes too late—the trials are no longer in his hands but rather in those of Danforth and the theocracy, which has no interest in seeing its proceedings exposed as a sham.
The failure of his attempts to turn the tide renders the once-confident Hale a broken man. As his belief in witchcraft falters, so does his faith in the law. In Act IV, it is he who counsels the accused witches to lie, to confess their supposed sins in order to save their own lives. In his change of heart and subsequent despair, Hale gains the audience’s sympathy but not its respect, since he lacks the moral fibre of Rebecca Nurse or John Proctor. Although Hale recognizes the evil of the witch trials, his response is not defiance but surrender. He insists that survival is the highest good, even if it means accommodating oneself to injustice—something that the truly heroic characters can never accept.
In order to assist learners to better understand the main characters in The Crucibleask them to identify at least 3 good and 3 bad points in each character and to say which characteristics are the most dominant and the affecs this has on the development of the play.
- The characters of Proctor and Rev Hale are said to change during the course of the play. Do you agree with this statement? Give reasons for your answer. What impact does this change have on both the character and the action of the play.
- Some commentaries say that Abigale is ‘the least complex character in the play and her rather static nature does not change throughout the play. Ask students to comment on this, and to explain why they agree or disagree with this description.
The following questions are taken from http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/crucible/themes.html:
Study Question 1. Discuss the role that grudges and personal rivalries play in the witch trial hysteria.
The trials in The Crucible take place against the backdrop of a deeply religious and superstitious society, and most of the characters in the play seem to believe that rooting out witches from their community is God’s work. However, there are plenty of simmering feuds and rivalries in the small town that have nothing to do with religion, and many Salem residents take advantage of the trials to express long-held grudges and exact revenge on their enemies. Abigail, the original source of the hysteria, has a grudge against Elizabeth Proctor because Elizabeth fired her after she discovered that Abigail was having an affair with her husband, John Proctor. As the ringleader of the girls whose ‘visions’prompt the witch craze, Abigail happily uses the situation to accuse Elizabeth and have her sent to jail. Meanwhile, Reverend Parris, a paranoid and insecure figure, begins the play with a precarious hold on his office, and the trials enable him to strengthen his position within the village by making scapegoats of people like Proctor who question his authority.
Among the minor characters, the wealthy, ambitious Thomas Putnam has a bitter grudge against Francis Nurse for a number of reasons: Nurse prevented Putnam’s brother-in-law from being elected to the Salem ministry, and Nurse is also engaged in a bitter land dispute with one of Putnam’s relatives. In the end, Rebecca, Francis’s virtuous wife, is convicted of the supernatural murders of Ann Putnam’s dead babies. Thus, the Putnams not only strike a blow against the Nurse family but also gain some measure of twisted satisfaction for the tragedy of seven stillbirths. This bizarre pursuit of ‘justice’typifies the way that many of the inhabitants approach the witch trials as an opportunity to gain ultimate satisfaction for simmering resentments by convincing themselves that their rivals are beyond wrong, that they are in league with the devil.
Study Question 2. How do the witch trials empower individuals who were previously powerless?
Salem is a strict, hierarchical, and patriarchal society. The men of the town have all of the political power and their rule is buttressed not only by law but also by the supposed sanction of God. In this society, the lower rungs of the social ladder are occupied by young, unmarried girls like Abigail, Mary Warren, and Mercy. Powerless in daily life, these girls find a sudden source of power in their alleged possession by the devil and hysterical denunciations of their fellow townsfolk. Previously, the minister and the girls’ parents were God’s earthly representatives, but in the fervor of the witch trials, the girls are suddenly treated as though they have a direct connection to the divine. A mere accusation from one of Abigail’s troop is enough to incarcerate and convict even important, influential citizens, and the girls soon become conscious of their newfound power. In Act II, for instance, Mary Warren defies Proctor’s authority, which derives from his role as her employer, after she becomes an official of the court, and she even questions his right to give her orders at all.
Even the most despised and downtrodden inhabitant of Salem, the black slave Tituba suddenly finds herself similarly empowered. She can voice all of her hostility toward her master, Parris, and it is simply excused as ‘suggestions from the devil.’ At the same time, she can declare that she has seen ‘white people’ with the devil, thus (for the first time in her life, probably) giving her power over the white community. As the fear of falling on the wrong side of God causes chaos during the brief period of the hysteria and trials, the social order of Salem is turned on its head.
Study Question 3. How does John Proctor’s great dilemma change during the course of the play?
Proctor, the play’s tragic hero, has the conscience of an honest man, but he also has a secret flaw—his past affair with Abigail. Her sexual jealousy, accentuated by Proctor’s termination of their affair, provides the spark for the witch trials; Proctor thus bears some responsibility for what occurs. He feels that the only way to stop Abigail and the girls from their lies is to confess his adultery. He refrains for a long time from confessing his sin, however, for the sake of his own good name and his wife’s honor. Eventually, though, Proctor’s attempts to reveal Abigail as a fraud without revealing the crucial information about their affair fail, and he makes a public confession of his sin. But by the time he comes clean, it is too late to stop the craze from running its course, and Proctor himself is arrested and accused of being a witch.
At this point, Proctor faces a new dilemma and wrestles with his conscience over whether to save himself from the gallows with a confession to a sin that he did not commit. The judges and Hale almost convince him to do so, but in the end, he cannot bring himself to sign his confession. Such an action would dishonor his fellow prisoners, who are steadfastly refusing to make false confessions; more important, he realizes that his own soul, his honor, and his honesty are worth more than a cowardly escape from the gallows. He dies and, in doing so, feels that he has finally purged his guilt for his failure to stop the trials when he had the chance. As his wife says, ‘he have his goodness now.’
1. Compare the roles that Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams play in The Crucible.
2. What role does sex, and sexual repression, play in The Crucible?
3. Why are Danforth, Hathorne, and the other authorities so resistant to believing the claim that Abigail and the other girls are lying?
4. What kind of government does Salem have? What role does it play in the action?
5. Analyze Reverend Parris. What are his motivations in supporting the witch trials?
6. Discuss the changes that Reverend Hale undergoes in the course of the play.
1. What kind of government does Salem have in The Crucible?
(A) Democracy (B) Theocracy (C) Monarchy (D) Kleptocracy
2. What is Parris’s position in Salem?
(A) Governor (B) Judge (C) Minister (D) Bailiff
3. Before the play begins, what did Parris catch his daughter and other girls doing?
(A) Trying to run away from home (B) Dancing in the forest
(C) Reading Catholic tracts (D) Conducting a black mass in the church
4. Why did Elizabeth Proctor fire Abigail?
(A) Abigail was too proud. (B) Abigail didn’t work hard enough.
(C) Abigail dressed like a prostitute. (D) Abigail was having an affair withJohn Proctor.
5. As the play opens, whom has Parris asked to come to Salem?
(A) Judge Danforth (B) Reverend Hale (C) Tituba (D) John Proctor
6. What is John Proctor’s chief complaint against Parris’s sermons?
(A) They focus too much on fire and brimstone. (B) They are too long.
(C) They are heretical. (D) They are too short.
7. What does Mrs. Putnam blame on witchcraft?
(A) Her husband’s cancer (B) The death of seven of her children in infancy (C) Bad weather (D) Raids by natives
8. Who is the first person that Abigail claims practiced witchcraft?
(A)Tituba (B) John Proctor (C) Reverend Hale (D) Mary Warren
9. In Act II, what does Mary Warren give to Elizabeth Proctor when she returns home from the trials?
(A) A cake (B) A bonnet (C) A kiss (D) A little doll
10. What news does Mary Warren bring from Salem?
(A) That someone accused Elizabeth of witchcraft
(B) That the witch trials have ended (C) That Reverend Hale is ill
(D) That someone accused John Proctor of witchcraft
11. Which commandment does John Proctor forget when Reverend Hale quizzes him?
(A) Thou shalt not kill. (B) Thou shalt not commit adultery.
(C) Honor thy mother and father. (D) Thou shalt not covet.
12. Whom do Ezekiel Cheever and Herrick, the marshal, come to the Proctor home to arrest?
(A) John Proctor (B) Reverend Hale (C) Mary Warren (D) Elizabeth Proctor
13. To what does John Proctor convince Mary Warren to testify?
(A) That the girls are only pretending to be possessed (B) That Abigail is a witch
(C) That Hale is a warlock (D) That he and Abigail slept together
14. Who is in charge of the court?
(A) Giles Corey (B) Danforth (C) Hale (D) Parris
15. Why will Elizabeth not be hanged if she is found guilty?
(A) Because she is a woman (B) Because the Puritans do not allow capital punishment (C) Because she is pregnant (D) Because John Proctor is well respected
16. On what charge is Giles Corey arrested?
(A) Witchcraft (B) Murder (C) Contempt of court (D) Slander
17. When Mary Warren testifies against them, what do Abigail and her troop of girls do?
(A) They all confess. (B) They claim that Mary is bewitching them.
(C) They attack her. (D) They claim that John Proctor has bewitched Mary.
18. What does John Proctor do, in a desperate attempt to foil Abigail?
(A) He tells the court about his affair with her. (B) He accuses her of witchcraft.
(C) He tries to kill her. (D) He tells the court that Abigail is a man dressed as a woman.
19. Who is brought in to corroborate John Proctor’s claims about Abigail?
(A) Elizabeth Proctor (B) Rebecca Nurse (C) Mary Warren (D) Parris
20. What does Elizabeth do when called upon to testify?
(A) Keeps silent (B) Tells a lie (C) Tells the truth (D) Kills herself
21. What does the court do with John Proctor?
(A) It frees him and sends him home. (B) It orders him stoned to death.
(C) It exiles him to Maine. (D) It arrests and tries him for witchcraft.
22. When John Proctor is facing death, what does Hale urge him to do?
(A) Kill himself (B) Blame someone else (C) Refuse to confess
(D) Confess, even though he is innocent
23. Why does Proctor retract his confession?
(A) Because the officials demand that he sign his name to it (B) Because Hale asks him to (D) Because Abigail confesses (D) Because new evidence has come to light
24. What does Abigail do at the end of the play?
(A) She kills herself. (B) She flees Salem, after robbing her uncle.
(C) She is hanged. (D) She is revealed as a witch.
25. What ultimately happens to John Proctor?
(A) He is freed. (B) He kills himself. (C) He is hanged.
(D) He escapes from prison and flees to Virginia.
Arthur Miller’s THE CRUCIBLE
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